It’s a fact, stress is ubiquitous in today’s world. However, it shouldn’t be part of your holiday plans.
Summer holidays, at last
Many of us begin to dream about the warm days of summer holidays a number of months beforehand. This time of joy and rest is the ultimate reward for those who work, making us impatient with anticipation.
When the time comes, we head for a sunny destination or the comforts of home to enjoy the peaceful tranquility we yearn for throughout the year. However, what happens when holiday peace of mind turns to worry—and stress?
Bottlenecks, tight deadlines, schedule overloads, and work-related irritants are not the only things that cause stress for the modern human. Oftentimes, even happy events—travel, moving, marriage, births, etc.—are just as stressful, as they combine two well-known stress factors: the unknown and unpredictability.
Summer holidays—and uncertainty
Several elements can be a source of stress during summer holidays, for instance, apprehension or concern associated to:
- being away from home and familiar reference points
- the possibility of forgetting something important
- the risk of incidents or accidents, and
- unexpected encounters or the presence of groups or crowds
Although summer holidays are a great opportunity to break with routine and to get out of your comfort zone, it can also be a good thing to respect your boundaries. It's pointless to add stress by planning activities that dishearten or frighten you. It's up to you to find a balance between your adventurous and your cautious side.
Many people start their summer holidays with accumulated fatigue and stress, and sometimes even with a feeling of exhaustion. This feeling is often due to prolonged exposure to significant pressure to perform. The demands of daily life and work are combined over several months, leaving the impression that you are at the end of your rope. During summer holidays, you can choose to set aside the quest for performance and perfection! From this perspective:
- Set aside a few days of "intensive rest" at the very beginning of your summer holidays before taking on anything (a trip, household tasks, projects, etc.). After all, you deserve it! Read outside in the sunshine, watch some movies, go on a picnic, go for a walk in your neighbourhood, and so on.
- Don't aim to have the "perfect summer holiday". You perform year-around—now, it's time to RELAX!
- Learn to let go during your summer holidays, and accept that you can't control everything. Trust yourself to know how to confront situations as they arise, alongside the people you cherish.
Some health issues can occur during summer holidays. Sunburns or heatstrokes, insect stings, motion sickness, minor wounds, swimmer's ear—there are plenty of reasons for concern! Not to mention apprehensions about accidents or serious injuries (fractures, head injuries, drowning, etc.). It can be tempting to consider the worst case scenarios, which often leads to a lot of unnecessary stress.
It's undoubtedly a better idea to prepare for certain contingencies for a quick response. Then, it's important to free your mind to enjoy a peaceful summer holiday. Here is some advice on the subject:
- Speak to your pharmacist about your summer holiday plans; he/she can inform you of the ways to stay healthy and to remedy potential health issues.
- Ask your pharmacist to help you prepare a health kit equipped with "essentials".
- Write down your pharmacist's telephone number in order to contact him/her with ease if you have any questions.
- Bring a thorough and up-dated list of the medications taken by family members.
A few tips
- Recharge your energy by taking advantage of the positive relationships you have with family, friends, and in social settings
- Jump on opportunities to get a good laugh. Laughing has a calming and relaxing effect.
- Exercise to reduce excess stress. Why not challenge yourself to starting a new physical activity?
- Take advantage of summer holidays to step back and reflect on your lifestyle, the sources of stress and your obligations. Focus on the changes you could make in your life, so that next year, you can start your summer holiday with more energy in store!
Your pharmacist can help when you have questions about health and well-being. Ask for advice!